Thursday, January 06, 2005

The poor use of ads on the news pages Arizona's smaller online papers and other peeves

I just recently started using AdBlock and I have never been happier with an application. For this blog I look at websites of many local papers and if there is one thing they have in common it's the use of animated advertising. I can deal with it on the front page of a sight, but lining both sides of the articles is too much. Animated advertising is not more effective when it is so annoying that you don't want to look at the offending page. If I don't want to look at it, I'm not going to read your content or your ads. Arizona Papers could learn a lot from each other. For example, The Yuma Sun is probably the best run small online paper. They have good content that is regularly updated and no animated graphics. The only things they lack are a forum for feedback on specific articles something that the Lake Powell Chronicle (extra compliments on the RSS feed) and White Mountain Independent share. The worst online papers in the state are those run by Western Newspapers, Inc., they have some of the most annoying features a web site can have.
  • First, when you bookmark one of their sites you are bookmarking that page of that weeks edition. If you want to come back next week you have to edit the bookmark and basically cut off all of the issue specific info from the address.
  • Second, They have a common characteristic of redundancy where the front or home page is the same as the news page.
  • Finally, they group some of their papers onto a single site making it impossible to bookmark a specific paper in some cases (Why would you tie the Daily Courier to several weeklies and then only show one story from the Courier on your front page? The White Mountain Independent handles a similar situation well).

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